The health experts at Brown University Medical School’s Department of Orthopedics reveal that in the course of one year, 36,400 golfers have visited emergency rooms after playing a round. Common injuries included sprains, strains and falls. The experts have reviewed the data and find that men frequently complain of low back injuries while females seem to suffer more hand and wrist injuries. It makes sense to pay special attention to pre-game golf stretches that help minimize pain and injuries.
Hip Exercise: Standing Side Kicks
If your hips get sore after a game of golf, you may have to revisit your footwear. This is particularly true if you are walking the 18 holes. Secondly, there is a possibility that your golf swing does not have a good follow through. If your hip does not rotate with your swing, back pain and sore hips are inevitable.
Standing side kicks help you to stretch and strengthen the muscles around the hips. Place your feet at shoulder width and put your hands on your hips. Slowly extend the left leg to the left side for two seconds. Hold the leg there for a couple of seconds and then slowly place it back on the ground Repeat this movement four times. Do not twist your foot. Next, switch to the right side. Speed can be the enemy here. The goal is to stretch the muscles; do not try to make it through the exercise just to get it over with.
Back Exercise: Lunge
Gregory Reinhardt, PT, MSPT from the Hospital for Special Surgery recommends a backward lunge. Stand in front of your golf cart and use it for support. Put your right leg back in a lunge position and reach up with your left hand. Do this slowly so that the muscles will stretch gradually. Switch sides: move back your left leg and reach up with your right hand. Repeat this stretch four times on each side.
Wrist Exercise: Flex and Extend
Stretch out your right arm. With your left hand, flex your right wrist by bending it down toward the ground. Do this slowly and hold the position for a couple of seconds before moving to the extending portion of the stretch. Next, use your left hand to gently push back your right palm as far as it will comfortably go. Repeat this a few times to loosen the wrists.
Of course, to adequately strengthen the wrists, it pays to strengthen the muscles of the forearms. Consider starting a weight-lifting regimen using a dumbbell in each hand. With the elbows bent at the sides and your palms facing upwards, bring up the weights so that the knuckles of your hands point at the sky. Do this 30 times each day to gradually strengthen the forearms.
Do not be one of the golfers who leaves the pro shop and heads straight for the first tee. Take your time to warm up and stretch. While it may not turn you from a duffer to a pro, it will help cut down on pain, discomfort and injuries.